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Step into a Starved Rock Country Spring

There really is nothing so spectacular as the arrival of spring in the Midwest”

There really is nothing so spectacular as the arrival of spring in the Midwest.  After the serenity of the beautiful winter season, the segue into spring can seem like a slow tease, but if you look closely, the signs of spring are all around. Trees and bushes waiting to burst forth in vibrant shades of green, hardy spring bulbs pushing up through the ground in a kaleidoscope of color, birds chirping and bunnies dancing as they prepare for the arrival of their babies. You don’t have to look far to witness the renewal of the natural landscape.  

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New Marina Office and Boat Slips Add to Waterfront Fun at Heritage Harbor

“Today’s open and versatile ranch design, offers harmonious, breathtaking living spaces and, while historically the choice of empty-nesters, has surged in popularity with buyers of all ages”

Boater and non-boaters appreciate the state-of-art-marina and breathtaking water views at Heritage Harbor Resort in Ottawa, where a new floating marina office and fun water activities add to its appeal. Situated along the Illinois River, Heritage Harbor Resort is a premier vacation destination, offering second-to-none amenities and a variety of homes, including condominiums, villas, townhomes, single-family homes and custom residences, for purchase or rent, all centered around the state-of-the-art 152 slip marina.

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Ranch Style Homes with Marina Access Available this Summer at Heritage Harbor Resort

“Today’s open and versatile ranch design, offers harmonious, breathtaking living spaces and, while historically the choice of empty-nesters, has surged in popularity with buyers of all ages”

If you’re looking for the ease and style of a ranch plan in a recreationally-rich community, you’ll want to visit Heritage Harbor Resort in Ottawa, where a collection single-level living designs, at various price points, are available, some for summer delivery.

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Time’s Running Out to Own New Low-Maintenance Boat House at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa

“With more and more people working from home, the market has exploded with buyers who can now work from anywhere,”

Sales have been brisk in the recently introduced Boat House neighborhood at Heritage Harbor Resort, where only seven low-maintenance, waterfront homes, each with a direct boat slip, remain for sale. 

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PREMIER RIVERFRONT HOMESITES ALMOST SOLD OUT!

Only four picturesque, Riverfront homesites, overlooking the Illinois River, remain for sale at Pinnacle Pointe”

Only four picturesque, Riverfront homesites, overlooking the Illinois River, remain for sale at Pinnacle Pointe, a premier neighborhood of 23 custom homes within the larger Heritage Harbor Resort community in Ottawa. 

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Country Living is What You Make It!

At Heritage Harbor, we enjoy all the perks of ‘country life’ without all the labor country life usually requires.

Country Living is What You Make It!

What image comes to mind when you hear the phrase “country living?”  Oftentimes, what we imagine country living to entail includes the notion of rustic, farmhouse living on acres of land surrounded by animals and lots of work.  What if we were to tell you that country living is what you make it?!

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‘Fall’ in Love with Heritage Harbor and Starved Rock Country

The natural beauty of the trees attracts visitors from far and wide as they burst forth in blazing magnificent color. The trees truly show us how beautiful ‘letting go’ can be!

As we enter the final quarter of the year, we can’t help but wistfully long for the halcyon days of summer. However, there’s a sweet resignation to the start of autumn and the restorative and restful effect it has on us—mind, body, and soul. Fall is so much more than pumpkin spice and bonfires, although those things certainly boost our enjoyment of this beloved season in the Midwest.

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Upgrade Your Inner Explorer by Discovering Your Perfect Vacation Rental Property

The age of living like a local…on vacation, is HERE! 

Places. Placemaking. The magic of place! No matter which way you say it, if you’ve discovered the splendor of traveling to new places, lived the local life (yes, with their locals), eaten the food from their favorite restaurants or take-out spots, and explored natural landscapes and culture while avoiding the camera-flashing bus-tour vibe of yesterday (yes, that big city tour for the masses is fading away), then you’ll know why hundreds and thousands of Americans are getting themselves into a trip about the new trend of vacation rental property. 

 

On the other hand 

…if you’re still wondering what this new buzzword – vacation rentals, is all about, then stay on board because you’re about to taste something amazing! 

Matt Landau, travel writer and Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (VRMB), calls it The Sense of Place. Taking a traditional vacation is, well, it’s a vacation – and you can have fun on a traditional vacation, but you SIMPLY WILL NOT gain the rich Sense of Place that can be achieved from “living” like a local. 

 

But, what’s the big buzz about? Can there really be THAT big of a difference? 

Oh yes! You’ve heard of the traditional summer vacation at on the coast. You’ve seen countless ads promoting summer vacation packages for a yet another 7-day vacation to the Outer Banks of one place, to the coastal air of another, and still to the grandiose views of a given hotel near Mount Somewhere-or-other – right?  

 

Live like a local…only you’ll be away from the humdrum of everyday 

Right! But we’d bet money on saying that, for anyone that’s taken one of these offers or booked their own getaway or vacation in America’s ‘favorite’ destinations, they’ve missed the feeling of living, breathing, eating, socializing and enjoying the local life, just as if they were at home…but away on vacation. Why? Because they were not part-and-parcel of the local life from the time they arrived…and by the time they departed for the (usually) long journey home, they had not developed the sense of place that they could have achieved if they had rubbed shoulders with friendly locals-in-the-know from the get go! You see, it all comes down to the experience of the Place – and not the commercial tourist’s plastic and napkin affair, which never really gets them out of the lobby, so to speak. 

 

But the new trend of Vacation Rental Properties changes ALL this! 

Imagine that you discover (perhaps by reading or watching an ad, or on social media, or through an enamored friend or family member), that Ottawa, Yes Ottawa in ILLINOIS, holds some gorgeous small-town charm. You do a bit of web surfing and learn that the town, along with Heritage Harbor, it’s world-class marina resort and settlement, is in the heart of breathtaking Starved Rock Country where historic happenings dating back hundreds of years took place. And, you decide, “I want to take a vacation there!” 

 

A fresh perspective on Vacations, OR Traditional (slightly over-commercialized) same-old 

From this point on, one of two things happens: Either you go the traditional route, making reservations at a brand chain hotel in the area, OR you catch the magic train of Vacation Rentals, and you get in touch with Heritage Harbor’s, Harbor Inn. 

Let’s just give you the benefit of the doubt, and say that you opted for the latter rather than the former (to get that sense of Place, and all that)… 

 

Friendly locals help you to live life like they do, while you’re on vacation 

Speak to a proud local from the very beginning 

You would be called and greeted by a friendly voice on the other side of the line, who would take the trouble to get to know you just a bit, only to ensure that you were placed in the right cottage, villa or home, and that you had close and convenient access to the craft, facilities and amenities that were most suitable to you. A detailed guide for What to do in Starved Rock Country would be shared with you, and you would receive helpful trip tips and things to think of if you’re going to get the best of Starved Rock Country. 

 

Be part of the community in a natural, unforced and refreshing way 

On arrival, you’d be no different than any other homeowner on the Heritage Harbor development. You’d be part of a warm and friendly neighborhood, you’d have your freedom to move yet you’d receive countless greetings and offers of help, not just from the Harbor Inn’s friendly staff, but also from residents and other vacationers. 

 

The daydream-come-true continues 

To carry on the daydream (but one that comes true every day for vacationers across the Midwest)…it wouldn’t be long before you were heading up to Red Dog Grill for a meal or refreshment with newfound friends, paddling out on the blissful Illinois Waterway with someone who had been a few times more than you, or venturing out with a local into Starved Rock Country for an exploratory hike, a daring skydiving adventure, or just to watch the Bald Eagles doing life in the winter. Can you see how vacation rental properties are transforming vacations yet? 

 

Vacation Rental homes are Inn 

The days of hotel rooms in high-rise buildings are fading away somewhat. Couples and families across the US are now drawn to vacation homes like bees to honey, and it’s not difficult to see what all the buzz is about!  

AirBnB’s vast Vacation Rentals arm is probably the main reason they have grown as they have…and here’s the thing: people want to vacation in homes where they can explore as a local and experience the authentic appeal of special places. Traditional hotels are for visitors, outsiders and travelers, and are full of do-not-disturb signs that offer you little more than an in-your-face reminder that you are not at home. 

 

Share the vacation bliss by renting your home to vacationers 

What about you? Are you one of the lucky ones that own a vacation house, cottage or villa in a beautiful place? If you are, you’ll want to give some thought to placing your property on a vacation rental management program so that you can seize the opportunity of earning a second income, or at least covering a decent portion of that mortgage repayment every month. More than that, you can still enjoy your vacation spot at your leisure by communicating the dates of your stay with the rental manager in advance. It’s the new, hassle-free way to get the most out of your vacation property, both from a lifestyle and financial point of view. Heritage Harbor and The Harbor Inn, makes owning a vacation rental cottage a breeze; with grass cuttings, snow removal and landscaping being maintained by the home owner’s association, an optional general cottage maintenance program; and guests stays being managed by The Harbor Inn. It doesn’t get easier than this.  

Come on – the Vacation Rental adventure awaits! 

Experience Valentine’s Day in Starved Rock Country, Illinois

EXPERIENCE VALENTINE’S DAY IN STARVED ROCK COUNTRY, ILLINOIS

Right here at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

If valleys and hills could sing, Starved Rock Country would be an endless song of bravery, passion and fortitude. Singing with chivalrous forté and gentle
piano, many a story of valiant love and bravado would resound from the region’s many breathtaking rocky heights and mystical river settings.

And speaking of breathtaking…

So here’s the thing – Valentine’s Day’s a-comin’!
You’re running out of time? You’re looking for some good suggestions and hints that will help you
to arrange that perfect Valentine’s Day experience for you and your special somebody?

Got it! Well, best we get on with it before it’s too late. After all, if all is fair in love and war, then you
don’t want to be making it easy for your competition. Just saying 😉

Dreaming and Dining with St. Valentine in Starved Rock Country

If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day getaway, and you’re…let’s just say it…Romantic…then you may want to get the low-down on what is on offer for you in and around Illinois this February 14!

Heritage Harbor Ottawa: Your first stop, and the fast-becoming first-love of Ottawa Illinois Valentine vibes just 90-minutes from the ‘burbs

Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a master-planned resort development in Ottawa, Illinois.

Located just 90 minutes from Chicago, the development is quickly becoming a favorite for boaters and watersport enthusiasts in the fall and summer months, and for birders and romantics in the winter and spring months.

Love is in the air, and vacation rentals are on the winter water’s edge…

The vacation rental cottages and reunion homes that are available at Heritage Harbor are nestled beautifully around a master-planned marina resort. Surrounded by the untouched natural beauty of a winter wonderland setting, your soul will be awakened by the call of the Bald Eagles teeming in the skies in February month.

Dining with red hot love

Whisk your Love into the warmth and exuberance of the “Dine With Us” Valentine’s Evening at Heritage Harbor’s Red Dog Grilll – a fine restaurant run by fine chefs with a fine set of culinary skills that will set flame to your special time away. Book now to secure your table and prepare for an unforgettably romantic dining experience.

Here’s 4 Helpful Valentine’s Day Ideas for a Day-Night Stay in and Around Starved Rock Country
1. August Hill Winery and the Illinois Sparkling Company

Run by a notable winemaker, Mark Wenzel, August Hill Winer will give you a sip and a taste (and maybe more) of the locally
cultivated August Hill range of wines.

If you and your Valentine are more into the sparkle, the Illinois Sparkling Company will also scintillate your palates with their traditionally-made sparkling wine that would put any French Champagne through its paces.

If you’re inclined to take a wine tasting tour, make a loop past the Illinois River Winery and Clarks Run Creek Gifts and Wine Tasting. Who knows, you may leave as the new member of one or more wine clubs offered by these wineries (depending, of course, on how far your tasting endeavors went ;)).

2. Cosy up and gaze up at Starved Rock Bald Eagles

The Bald Eagles arrive in Starved Rock country in December and don’t leave until March. So, if you and your mate are up for a bit of fresh air on your face and the dreamy settings of white-headed raptors soaring in the skies, communing in the bare trees on snow-white backgrounds, and frolicking on the ice, you’d do no better than to book your stay at  Heritage Harbor Ottawa or one of the other vacation rental options in Ottawa or Utica – who knows, you may be overtaken by the Valentine spirit and do some frolicking of your own ☺!

3. A romantic escape to a 19th Century mansion

For a tasteful sojourn into old-style chivalry and honor, walk arm in arm with your love on the winding paths of the Hegeler Carus Mansion property. Hear, read and immerse yourselves in the romantic yet true and historic journey of the Hegeler and Carus families who lived and flourished in the mansion from the late 1800s until 2004.

Shop the Hegeler and Carus look, if you really care to do so, or simply allow your imagination to run free as you tour the mansion, browse its quaint and captivating little shops, explore its many nooks and crannies, and finish off with a delightful meal at its in-house (no pun intended, but let’s just leave it there if you please) restaurant.

4. The heart of starved rock – Starved Rock State Park

As we mentioned, Starved Rock is charged with the bravery, passion and loyalty of some of the First Nation tribes that were indigenous to the area. A Valentine’s Day and night stay in Starved Rock Country would be incomplete without taking a turn at Starved Rock State Park to experience the natural beauty, rich and
intriguing history, and open-air freedom of what we have all come to know and love as Starved Rock Country.

Take a trolley tour that will give you Bald Eagle views from the warmth of a heated vehicle (the weather may make a walking tour unpleasant). While you’re about it, you’ll learn about the great clash between the Illinois and Ottawa tribes, their loyalty, courage and fight, and the way this epic event was forever marked in time. You’ll love your time spent together, and you’ll love that you chose to celebrate love right here in Starved Rock Country, Ottawa, Illinois.

Ciao!
The Heritage Harbor Team

Bald Eagles are Soaring in Starved Rock Country, Illinois

3 Tips – Be Here, Bring your Best Binoculars, and Respect the Eagle!

 

You’re floating effortlessly on an anti-gravity, 8-foot wingspan at ten thousand feet above Illinois Starved Rock Country.  Gentle winds slip past your aerodynamic form and, in the perfect silence, the sun’s radiant energy is as loud as your favorite song…

 

Awaken the eagle in you as you experience the Bald Eagle in Starved Rock Country this winter…

For millennia the human race has held an innate fascination with eagles. No less the Bald Eagle that frequents the winter skies of Starved Rock Country near Chicagoland. So we thought that, since Bald Eagle season is hear in Illinois, let’s revisit a few helpful basics when scanning the skies and timber skylines for this magnificent raptor that means so much to us Americans.

 


 

Tip#1 – Don’t be a stranger in Starved Rock Country as you scan the plains for Bald Eagles

Yes, that’s us inviting you to make a trip of it!

 

Most birders with a passion for Bald Eagles would agree that, apart from Alaska, Starved Rock Country presents the most attractive Bald Eagle-watching opportunity. In the winter months we grab our gear and head out for a few days to get our annual Bald Eagle fix along the Illinois Waterway where these raptors hunt for fish and other prey.

 

 

 

 

For many, Ottawa (Illinois) would be the preferred destination to do just that. We’ve fallen in love with the friendly community, rich natural beauty, and literally hundreds of Bald Eagles calling our focus to the skies.

Reviews on TripAdvisor for Starved Rock State Park bear witness to this with thousands of positive reviews, certificates of excellence and photographs to convince you of the same! Check out some of the Vacation Rental opportunities at Heritage Harbor Ottawa to take your Starved Rock Country experience to whole new heights!

 


Tip #2 – Be sure to fly with the eagles in high definition!

 

Perched on the edge of the Illinois Waterway not far from his Harbor Cottage at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, Illinois, one Bald Eagle fanatic is mesmerized by yet another siting of this magnificent bird of prey. He is fortunate enough to view the unfolding scene of a mother hunting for her young through the uber-focus of his SNYPEX Knight D-ED 8×50 Binoculars.

 

“Ahem, yes”, he says with a self-confident rumble in his throat, “I am boasting…but what’s a little brag between birders, right?”

 

Voted the best birding binoculars of 2017, these bad boys give the user the vivid sense that they are literally sharing the sky with this predatory bird as it slides through the open air. “I see the hunger in her eyes, and the urgency she feels because of the fact that her nest is vulnerable while she is out hunting”, says our fanatic (who will remain nameless).

 

According to BestBinocularsReviews.com, there are some important pointers to ensuring that you select the correct pair of binoculars for your bird-watching escapades:

 

Firstly, if you’re after one pair of binoculars that can serve all your bird-watching needs, don’t go more powerful than 8x magnification. Why? Well, BBR gives us 3 good reasons…

 

  • A Wider field of view to enable easier location of the bird you’re watching without scanning
  • Better image stability: a 10x magnification is more shaky because it amplifies every hand movement as much as the image you’re trying to view.
  • Greater eye relief: If you wear glasses or sunglasses while viewing, 8x magnification still provides a high definition picture; it is difficult to find 10x magnification binoculars that enable a high definition picture when wearing glasses.

So do yourself a favor and get your eyes on a pair of these before you arrive Heritage Harbor Vacation Rentals or any other highly rated accommodation in Starved Rock Country.

 

 


Tip #3 – Remember where this mighty raptor has come from, and do your part to conserve it

 

You may remember that, in 1972, Bald Eagles were regarded as nearing extinction in America. Having become the icon of US-pride from 1782 until that time, the raptor was dwindling in numbers owing to mankind’s culling them to protect the fishing industry, and using pesticides that would ultimately poison these masters of the sky rather than the rodents that they preyed upon.

Since that time, when DDT (toxic pesticide) was banned, the Bald Eagle has made a triumphant comeback – much to the pleasure of every patriotic American.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service continues to manage the Bald Eagle population with great diligence and care. It also urges the public to remember that, while it is no longer endangered, the Bald Eagle is still very much protected under US law. We all share the responsibility of ensuring that they are undisturbed and unharmed when we venture out to capture them photographically or visually in their natural habitats.

We’ll keep an eye out for you! Don’t miss the flight of the Bald Eagle in Starved Rock Country this February!

 

xx

The Heritage Harbor Team

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